First of all, some serious business. So my second journal is running out, so I've been on a search to buy a new one to keep recording my insights and crazy experiences, but I can't seem to find one here. All that I can find are a bunch of plain notebooks, but nothing that would really last that I could cherish for the rest of my life. So I had an idea. Instead of me continuing my fruitless search while my journal runs out, and instead of y'all going out and buying one and then going to the trouble of packaging and sending it, you could just find a Brazilian internet site that sells quality journals and have them send a journal directly to the mission office. Maybe Amazon has a Brazilian branch or something like that. If y'all could do that for me, it would be great, because I'm running out of space. And if you have to search in Portuguese, maybe Brother Easton or Brother Edmunds would be able to help. If that's not too much trouble, I would really appreciate it.
So here's the scuttlebutt for this week. I got my very first Brazilian companion, Elder Cavalcante. He is a super good guy, and I am really enjoying his company. But I've learned something about Brazilian and American culture that's pretty funny. Many of the members here have told me that they think Americans are annoying because they don't like it when people touch them. For me that seemed a bit ridiculous, I never really had a problem with that. But now I have a Brazilian companion, and I understand why. Brazilians are super touchy-feely. He touches me way more than any American would ever touch anybody. One way is not right or wrong, I think it's just something that I'll have to get used to.
So we are still being super blessed here. I hope that I stay in this area for a super long time, because I am loving it here. This week we had a lot of really spiritual experiences with various investigators. I nearly cried the other day when Ana Paula told us that she had only smoked two cigarettes the entire day. And I was super happy inside when Kemily, during one of our lessons, came straight out and said, "Elder, I want to hear more about baptism". We marked a baptismal date for her and her mom.
Probably one of the most powerful experiences this week was with Maria Aparecida, another investigator of ours. She has been progressing really well, up unto the point that she knows with surety that the Book of Mormon is true and that she wants to get baptized. She is an elderly lady that previously had a lot of doubts and questioned us about every piece of doctrine that we shared with her. For example, she wanted a clear explanation about what it means to have an "incircumcised heart". But our last visit we had to speak pretty openly with her about marriage. She is not married to the man with whom she is living, and she cannot get baptized if she doesn't get married first. When we broke the news, she got really sad, and my heart wrenched with her. We still aren't completely sure of the difficulties that they have that could impede their marriage, other than that it is a really big decision. We are praying for her and know that she can get there soon enough.
Love y'all, I'm really grateful for everything!